A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 19 The Attainment of Peace

I. Healing and Faith 1-9

1. We said before that when a situation has been dedicated wholly to truth, peace is inevitable.  Its attainment is the criterion by which the wholeness of dedication can be safely assumed.  Yet we also said that peace without faith will never be attained, for what is dedicated to truth as its only goal is brought to truth by faith.  This faith encompasses everyone involved, for only thus the situation is perceived meaningful and as a whole.  And everyone must be involved in it, or else your faith is limited and your dedication incomplete. 

2. Every situation, properly perceived, becomes an opportunity to heal the Son of God.  And he is healed because you offered faith to him, giving him to the Holy Spirit and releasing him from every demand your ego would make of him.  Thus do you see him free, and in this vision does the Holy Spirit share.  And since He shares it, He has given it, and so He heals through you.  It is this joining Him in a united purpose that makes this purpose real, because you make it whole.  And this is healing.  The body is healed because you came without it and joined the Mind in which all healing rests. 

3. The body cannot heal, because it cannot make itself sick.  It needs no healing.  Its health or sickness depends entirely on how the mind perceives it, and the purpose that the mind would use it for.  It is obvious that a segment of the mind can see itself as separated from the Universal Purpose.  When this occurs the body becomes its weapon, used against this Purpose, to demonstrate the “fact” that separation has occurred.  The body thus becomes the instrument of illusion, acting accordingly; seeing what is not there, hearing what truth has never said and behaving insanely, being imprisoned by insanity.

4. Do not overlook our earlier statement that faithlessness leads straight to illusions.  For faithlessness is the perception of a brother as a body, and the body cannot be used for purposes of union.  If then, you see your brother as a body, you have established a condition in which uniting with him is impossible.  Your faithlessness to him has separated you from him and kept you both apart from being healed.  Your faithlessness has thus opposed the Holy Spirit’s purpose, and brought illusions, centered on the body, to stand between you.  And the body will seem to be sick, for you have made of it an “enemy” of healing and the opposite of truth.

5. It cannot be difficult to realize that faith must be the opposite of faithlessness.  Yet the difference in how they operate is less apparent, though it follows directly from the fundamental difference in what they are.  Faithlessness would always limit and attack; faith would remove all limitations and make whole.  Faithlessness would destroy and separate; faith would unite and heal.  Faithlessness would interpose illusions between the Son of God and his Creator; faith would remove all obstacles that seem to rise between them.  Faithlessness is wholly dedicated to illusions, faith wholly to truth.  Partial dedication is impossible.  Truth is the absence of illusion, illusion the absence of truth.  Both cannot be together nor perceived in the same place.  To dedicate yourself to both is to set up a goal forever impossible to attain, for part of it is sought through the body, thought of as a means for seeking out reality through attack.  The other part would heal, and therefore calls upon the mind and not the body. 

6. The inevitable compromise is the belief that the body must be healed, and not the mind.  For this divided goal has given both an equal reality, which could be possible only if the mind is limited to the body and divided into little parts of seeming wholeness, but without connection.  This will not harm the body, but it will keep the delusional thought system in the mind.  Here, then, is healing needed.  And it is here that healing is.  For God gave healing not apart from sickness, nor established remedy where sickness cannot be.  They are together, and when they are seen together, all attempts to keep both truth and illusion in the mind, where both must be, are recognized as dedication to illusion; and given up when brought to truth, and seen as totally unreconcilable with truth, in any respect or in any way.

7. Truth and illusion have no connection.  This will remain forever true, however much you seek to connect them.  But illusions are always connected, as is truth.  Each is united, a complete thought system, but totally disconnected to each other.  And to perceive this is to recognize where separation is, and where it must be healed.  The result of an idea is never separate from its source.  The idea of separation produced the body and remains connected to it, making it sick because of the mind’s identification with it.  You think you are protecting the body by hiding this connection, for this concealment seems to keep your identification safe from the “attack” of truth. 

8. If you but understood how much this strange concealment has hurt your mind, and how confused your own identification has become because of it!  You do not see how great the devastation wrought by your faithlessness is an attack that seems to be justified by its results.  For by withholding faith you see what is unworthy of it and cannot look beyond the barrier to what is joined with you.

9. To have faith is to heal.  It is the sign that you have accepted the Atonement for yourself and would therefore share it.  By faith, you offer the gift of freedom from the past, which you received.  You do not use anything your brother has done before to condemn him now.  You freely choose to overlook his errors, looking past all barriers between yourself and him, and seeing them as one.  And in that one you see your faith is fully justified.  There is no justification for faithlessness, but faith is always justified.[1]

We can only attain peace by dedicating our minds to truth.  To dedicate our minds to truth we must have faith – it is the only way we can get to the truth of any situation.  We must apply faith to everyone involved – there is the only way to bring meaning and wholeness to any situation.  As I was reading this first paragraph today I was reminded of the family estrangement that seemed to take place a little over a decade ago.  I realized that our family had been estranged all along – that the seeming “faith” that we had in each other did not include everyone involved and that our dedication to each other was very much limited and unwholesome. 

When we begin to view every situation through the eyes of holiness, they become an opportunity to heal the Sonship.  Jesus promises us that the Sonship is healed because of the faith we offer to each other.  When we give our relatives to Holy Spirit we take our egos out of it.  We set them free, and it is in freedom and liberty that Holy Spirit shares, gives, and heals through each one of us.  When our purpose is no longer about what I want from a relationship, but rather what Holy Spirit wants from our joining we are united with the same purpose of God, to make whole, to come together, to be complete in one another.  This heals all that ails us both in mind and body – because we came without the body.  We let all the demands I would put on them and they would put on me behind and we join in the Mind where all healing can be found. 

In paragraph three Jesus explains that the body cannot heal.  The body is governed by the mind’s perception and the purpose that the mind would use it for.  As long as we see ourselves as separate from the purpose of God, our bodies become a weapon used against unity and wholeness.  Our bodies are used to illustrate our specialness, separateness, and sovereignty.  In other words an instrument of illusion – we make up all kinds of things about each other, we judge according to ego perceptions, we believe in lies, we behave badly toward one another – and we are trapped by this insanity, sometimes going to our graves with silly grudges and mean misconceptions about each other based upon the faithlessness and false pride we have established toward ourselves and one another. 

Jesus reminds us in paragraph four that faithlessness leads straight to illusions.  When my family treats me in a faithless way, they perceive me not as I truly am but as a body and as a body they cannot unite with me.  They can talk about me.  They can make fun of me.  They can sneer and deride and snub me, but they can never unite with me as long as they see, judge, and relate to me as a body.  When I in turn fail to see their reality and react to them according to my perceptions, I treat them the same way I believe they have treated me.  This does not bring us together – and because we opposed the purpose of holiness illusions enter and continue to separate us from one another.  And our bodies weaken, get sick, and sometimes die in this illusion because we have made it an enemy of holiness and the symbol of brokenness. 

When we are faithful toward one another we remove all obstacles that would come between us.  We tell the truth, we turn to each other for help, we do not pretend to anything we are not.  Faithfulness towards one another is thinking the best, speaking the best, and upholding the best for one another.  It is going to the source of any potential conflict or dismay and addressing it there and not blabbing it around the rest of the family.  To be partially dedicated to faithfulness is impossible for the faithfulness that Jesus asks of us does not divide but unites and brings together in Sonship.  Division is healed when our minds are made right and we stop seeking reality in separateness, in estrangement, in respecting one and not the other. 

While we all seek health for our bodies few of us are aware of the detrimental effects that faithlessness has upon our beautiful minds.  We are not necessarily speaking of the brain here; we are speaking of the Mind of Christ which is in each one of us and far surpasses the limits of the flesh.  The Mind of Christ heals us, it brings us together, it makes us whole again.  When we accept the Mind of Christ, we accept who and what we really are, we are the Sonship, the Brotherhood, we are one.  You may seem to be over there in your country and here I am in my country, but in reality we are one – you and me, and there is nothing that divides us, that makes one of us more special than the other.  And when we accept this Mind we accept the truth and when we accept the truth we are healed of all that would tear us apart and keep us low and mean and dirty toward each other. 

The body illusion is a complete thought system within each one of us keeping us disconnected to each other.  I see you as being very different from me, and you see me as being very different from you.  I may read about you in the newspaper and make up all kinds of stories about you based upon the stories I read – and none of them will be true.  Because as a separate entity from me, your body does not define you, but rather hides the fact of our everlasting oneness.  Your body and my body, produced by the generation of separateness, may keep us apart but we cannot be whole without each other.  We were created in oneness and unity.  We were created by Love and with Love and to be Love.  Our sickness is rather a natural outcome of our sense of separation and isolation from one another. 

Jesus urges us to put our best effort into understanding this concept and how we have hurt ourselves by confusing our identification and continuing to generate separateness in our relationships.  Each time we practice any kind of faithlessness toward one another we are reacting to the perceptual worldview, and we continue to believe we are justified.  In faithlessness, I take the perceptions of my ego and react to them and in turn you do the same and we make a world of hurt, we drag others into it, we spend years writing each other off when we could be having fun and making lovely memories together.  All because we were afraid of faithfulness toward one another.  All because we believed it was bigger and better for us not to communicate, not to be understanding, not to be godly. 

When we are faithful to one another, we heal one another.  In our faithfulness you not only accept the Atonement for yourself, but you share it with me and with everybody you know.  You hold out the Atonement and withhold it from nobody for any reason.  To withhold it from those who cheat, and steal and lie is to be accepting the perceptions of the flesh and not of Sonship.  By faith we free others from the past just as we have been freed.  We use nothing to condemn our brothers.  In Christ we see no barriers for we are one.  Without one another we are faithless and there is no justification – ever – for faithlessness.  Jesus tells us that our faith is always justified. 

In your personal devotions today ask Holy Spirit to give you faith in faithfulness.  With courage, contemplate the unworthiness of holding grudges, building cases, holding others accountable for the illusions of this world.  Ask Holy Spirit to heal your mind of all that is unfaithful in word and deed.  Practice being faithful in all of your relationships – where the flesh perceptions give reasons to hate and put down, let holiness teach you to forgive and uplift; where ego perceptions give reason to snub and blather, let holiness teach you openness, honesty, and tranquility.  Instead of engaging in mockery and snobbery, practice the Vision of Christ and go beyond the flesh perceptions that obscure our oneness and sicken us toward each other.  Only when we practice faithfulness can our faith be justified, so practice it now whether you feel ready or not and be healed.   

[1] A Course in Miracles.  Chapter 19 The attainment of peace.  I. Healing and faith 1-9.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Published by eckief

My love for God, home and hearth, my husband and family fueled my decision to devote the rest of my life only to pursuits which brought love, joy, peace, and purpose. I am a writer, seeker, student, and teacher with experience professional and otherwise from waitressing to teaching the English language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. I hold a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, which took nearly 30 years to attain while I squeezed courses in between raising my children, journaling, relationships, work, and an assortment of escapades, some of which I would rather forget! An ongoing passion for reading, writing, adventure, food, and fun, eventually led me to the love of my life, James, whom I met in 1996 and married in 1997. Our life together has been an exciting journey of work and travel, spiritual awakening, and domestic bliss ever since. Although we have experienced the tragic loss of family members and friends through death and estrangement, we have managed to turn our special relationship into a holy one by the grace of God and an acute and growing awareness of “there must be a better way!” In 2006, I published my first novel, Luella’s Calling, and am currently working on my second, Grover Good and the Stone Chateau. From 2013 through 2018, I worked as a Prevention Education Specialist for Transitions, a local domestic violence sexual abuse victim’s service agency. My work there, fueled by a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching, led me to obtain an MS in Education from Scranton University. In 2018, I resigned to accompany James on his work travels while focusing on my calling to study and teach A Course in Miracles. To that end, I dedicate the rest of my days to writing, sharing, and teaching the message of salvation found within the Course pages. Thank you for your interest in this blog. As I do not respond to comments on the posts, if you care to contact me, please email me at eckief@yahoo.com.

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